Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Year's Resolution Update: Save $5k in Coupons/Sales

As I mentioned in my New Year's Resolution post, one area I'm trying to focus on is creating a decent price book and saving $5,000 in sales and coupons. I've had a few shopping trips with much success.

Here's my savings so far for January (stated savings on receipts):

Date     Store          Total Spent          Savings (coupons and/or sales)
Jan. 1     Michael's     $27.23                 $4.40
Jan. 1     ShopRite     $121.93               $94.85
Jan. 2     CVS           $0.16                   $12.40
Jan. 7     CVS           $2.00                   $4.78
Jan. 8     ShopRite     $154.15               $109.07
Jan. 9     CVS           $25.73                 $37.20
Jan. 9     Vitamin Shoppe   $23.98         $5.00
Jan. 11   Old Navy    $11.40                 $50.99
Jan. 12   CVS           $2.52                   $6.80
Jan. 13   ShopRite    $0.98                    $7.00
Jan. 15   ShopRite    $111.58                $63.23


I still have some work to do to get my grocery shopping under $400 per month. But with a goal of saving $400+ per month to reach $5,000, I'm pretty much on track.

As I may have mentioned, I've started following My Frugal Adventures and Living Rich With Coupons. Both offer a variety of coupons, sales match-ups and other great info for the frugal-minded (i.e., me). If you're new to couponing, or a seasoned couponer looking for a few new tricks, I highly recommend checking out these sites. They've been a huge help when it comes to matching up grocery sales and coupons.

New Coupon Tactic
My husband is convinced that I'm buying items we don't need just because I have a coupon. This got me to thinking. Could he be right? *Gasp* The horror! Now when I shop, I really think about whether I'm buying an item that I would not otherwise buy just because I have a coupon. It has actually kept me from buying products on more than one occasion. Now the other side to this is that if an item is extremely discounted (70-90%) or free, I'm getting it regardless! Do you have parameters when it comes to using coupons?

Do you set savings goals for using coupons or sales? I'd love to hear about them!

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Website Review: Ecofreek.com

Have you heard of Ecofreek? It's another great, green way to keep items out of the landfill. The site is a search engine that scans the web for free and 'for swap/trade' items people no longer need from over 45+ sources, 10,000 libraries, real estate, agricultural/seed swap sources and more.

Their goals is "to provide a means for people to find items they need while reducing landfill waste. They also encourage people to exchange and re-use items though their search engine and the 'places to give things away' section. You also have the option to  recommend new resources to Ecofreek.

You can search a few different areas, including all, free, swap, pets, library, or garage. While there wasn't much in my particular area, I found the other areas of the site interesting and useful. For example, you can view "Ecofreek Top Searches" which shows the most frequently searched items. These included: ferrets, snakes, turtles and coupons. Pretty funny! I guess you can consider turtles and snakes "green" -- LOL!

Ecofreek also has resources on ways to be more green save money and help protect our environment with links to some great sites...although I didn't see Green and Frugal Living listed *hint, hint*. ;)

I think Ecofreek is definitely worth checking out. While I didn't find anything in my region, I think as the site grows and becomes more popular, it will become easier to find items. Another great way to be green and frugal!

Have you heard of or used Ecofreek? I'd love to hear about your experience!

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy Belated New Year -- Green and Frugal Resolutions

Do you create New Year's Resolutions? I love creating them! A new year is like a clean slate. It lets you reflect on what you want to accomplish and start anew. *Sigh* What a glorious time of year to really think about goals. I took a break last year from creating resolutions and I really felt like something was missing.

Anyway, this year I'm back to my list of resolutions -- goals I want to focus on achieving before Dec., 31, 2012. Here's my list:

2012 New Years Resolutions
  • Run a 5k in 25:30; a half marathon in under 2 hours; 18 miles in under 2:45
  • Limit TV watching at night (less than 2 hours); spend at least 30 min. of quality time with kids each week night; yell at them less ;)
  • Write & self-publish a book; dedicate more time (at least 1 hour each day) to my blogs (fitmomsofnj.com, acommunicationsolution.com, and greenandfrugalliving.com)
  • Create a decent, usable price book; save $5,000 in coupons/sales
  • Go to church at least 2x/month

One goal that I'll be tracking on this blog is: Create a usable price book and save $5,000 through coupons and sales.

I've tried creating price books in the past without much luck. For starters, they take a lot of time and effort. But I know I could see significant savings in my grocery shopping by having one as a reference.

Finding $5,000 in savings from coupons and sales may be a stretch, but I think it's doable. It will be approx. $417 per month. We're refinancing our home in the next few weeks, which should save us $350+ per month, so I'm well on my way!!

I'd love to hear your resolutions. Do you set goals each year? What are your 2012 green and frugal resolutions?

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